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Foreganger

April 3, 2011

Foreganger: the Foreganger was a piece of lightweight, flexible rope attached at one end to the tail of a harpoon, and at the other, spliced into the longer, heavier, and more rigid line. The foreganger was easier to handle than the line itself, and made it possble to throw the harpoon accurately. Harpooners were superstitious about their craft, since it marked them out from the other sailors, and earned them a greater share of the profits. On leaving port it was the custom for the sweethearts and wives of harpooners to offer gifts of ribbon or lace from their underclothes, which were then woven into the foreganger to bring good luck.

 

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